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Pioneer poopoohs extreme skiing name

Allen Best

“Somebody else’s creation,” he told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. But Briggs, who was the first person to ski the Grand Teton, will accept the title bestowed on him by Powder magazine: “the grandfather of North American ski mountaineering.”In 1958, Briggs organized and led “The Grand Traverse,” a 100-mile slog from the Bugaboo Mountains to Rogers Pass, between British Columbia and Alberta. Then he skied down Mount Rainier, thinking it might be his last high mountaineering adventure.You see, Briggs was born with a hip defect that left him without cartilage. Faced with the possibility of a hip replacement while still in his early 30s, he chose instead to have the hip permanently fused to his femur in a slightly bent skier’s crouch. Only later did he set out on his string of pioneering ski descents – Grand Teton, South Teton, Moran, Owen, and so forth.By the way, he descended the Grand Teton on 210cm K2 Elites mounted with Spademan bindings. How much of the nearly continuous descent of 6,000 feet was one fall away from certain death? “Quite a bit,” he told the News & Guide.Described by a colleague as being perpetually like a 10-year-old near a mud puddle, Briggs has been director of the ski school at Snow King, the ski resort in Jackson, since 1967.His continued work as a ski instructor is the source for several life goals that the 71-year-old Briggs feels a growing sense of urgency to complete. Among them is perfection of ski instruction for pre-school and kindergarten kids. Briggs said he fears being put on a “pedestal” will interfere with getting his projects completed.Evolution of ski fashion exhibitedWHISTLER, B.C. – Looking “cool” is part of the story when skiing or snowboarding at Whistler/Blackcomb. So says the Whistler Museum, which has launched an exhibition called “Evolution of Mountain Wear.”The exhibit reviews ski fashions from the days of woolen skirts to Maria Bogner’s stretch pants to today’s Mountain Gear.


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